18 Dec 2009

Man set himself on fire in Beijing

3:14 pm on 18 December 2009

A man is being treated in hospital after setting himself on on fire in the Chinese capital, Beijing, to protest against the demolition of his home.

The BBC reports he has burns to 10% of his body.

It is the second such incident to be reported in recent weeks. Last month a woman died after setting herself alight in a similar protest, prompting fierce public debate of China's rules on forced eviction.

The law currently allows local governments to claim land and confiscate homes for urban development projects - a system which critics say is open to abuse.

Residents often complain that the amount of compensation offered is far below the real value of their homes.

Legal experts have called for major changes and officials met nine of them on Wednesday to discuss the issue.